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Romney Not Done Insulting the British – Next Up: King David Hotel Fundraiser – Updated

12:03 am in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

King David Hotel (photo: Israel-a-la-carte / flickr)

[Update - Sunday 10:39 am PDT:  Romney has again changed his mind.  The press will be allowed into the King David Hotel fundraiser:

Mitt Romney's campaign has reversed a decision to not allow the media into a fundraiser here Monday morning, bowing to reporters' demand that they be allowed to record the Republican's address to some of his top donors.]

Speculation over why GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has excluded reporters from his Jerusalem King David Hotel fundraiser is perhaps beside the point.  Nobody in the American press is going to center a story around the event upon the fact that this hotel was the scene of an awful act of terrorism, perpetrated upon the British in July, 1946:

On the morning of the 22nd of July 1946 a party of between 15 and 20 Jews, dressed as an Arabs entered the King David Hotel. The hotel housed the Secretariat of the Government of Palestine and Headquarters of the British Forces in Palestine and Transjordan. The terrorists were able to enter the building without arousing too much attention because part of the building was still being used as a hotel and other people frequented it. The Jews pretended to be an Arab working party. Having unloading from their lorry several milk churns filled with 225 kilogram’s of explosive, they placed them in the basement of the wing of the hotel occupied by the Secretariat.

A British officer standing nearby, one Major Mackintosh, became suspicious of this group of Arabs and began to ask questions, but was suddenly gunned down by a member of the Jewish gang and subsequently died. A policeman stationed at the tradesman’s entrance suffered a similar fate when he challenged the Jewish terrorists. Both victims were unarmed. A gun battle soon began between the terrorist and guards during which time the Jews ignited the fuse and bolted from the building as the alarm was given. As they ran several were shot and wounded by guards, but most managed to make good their escape. There was no time to evacuate the building and the charge exploded with devastating effect. Many were killed instantly as the whole wing of the building collapsed about them, others were trapped and many more injured.

Rescue work started straight way as soldiers and police began to pull away the rubble in the hope of finding survivors. Members of the Royal Engineers were hurried to the scene with heavy lifting equipment, but they had difficulty reaching the King David Hotel because of Jewish road blocks. The Royal Engineers were stoned and booed as they tried to make their way to the scene of the bombing.

Nobody in Jerusalem is going to be stoning and booing Romney on his way to or from the King David. While he’s there, he will probably shake hands or even hug a billionaire under investigation for allegedly bribing Chinese officials in Macau by both the State of Nevada and the U.S. Justice Department, and a smarmy thug who was part of an espionage ring that stole nuclear devices and other nuclear bomb materials from the United States late in the last century.

Although Romney relented, reporters were pissed about Romney’s campaign breaking a supposed promise to not exclude them from this event.  But they won’t be allowed by their editors to write about how corrupt Sheldon Adelson and Benjamin Netanyahu are, or how dangerous Romney’s conduct in this case actually is.  Case in point:

Romney’s campaign announced Saturday that it would block the news media from covering the event, which will be held at the King David Hotel. The campaign’s decision to close the fundraiser to the press violates the ground rules it negotiated with news organizations in April, when Romney wrapped up the Republican nomination and began opening some of his finance events to the news media.

Under the agreement, a pool of wire, print and television reporters can cover every Romney fundraiser held in public venues, including hotels and country clubs. The campaign does not allow media coverage of fundraisers held in private residences.

Campaign spokesman Rick Gorka declined to explain the campaign’s decision to violate protocol with the Jerusalem event. Pressed repeatedly by reporters to offer an explanation, Gorka said only that the fundraiser was “closed press.”

“That’s all I’ve got for you — it’s closed press,” Gorka said.

Obama’s campaign will not counter Romney’s secret King David fundraiser with a press release or campaign ad that messages “Romney Follows London Gaffs with Fundraiser at Hotel Zionists Bombed to Kill Brits and Meets with Macau Crime Boss and Former Spy Against the USA.”  None of that will be brought up.

It is not allowed.

Juan Cole lists ten reasons why Romney’s Israel visit is “distasteful.”  He brings up the inappropriate venue of the King David, especially after Romney’s London visit.

I find it even more distasteful that our media refuses to give this campaign visit context.

President Palin Deals with Her Enemies

1:40 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

It is January 27th, 2013.  Newly inaugurated President Sarah Palin’s Press Secretary, Andrew Breitbart, is asked if the White House is aware that the following people have died under mysterious circumstances during the preceding 24 hours:

Joe McGinniss
Frank Bailey
David Letterman
Keith Olbermann
Maureen Dowd
Jesse Griffin
a couple of bloggers in Germany, from the blog Politicalgates
Charlie Gibson
John Bitney
Tina Fey
Andrew Halcro
Frank Gwartney
Andree McLeod
Mike Wooten

Press Secretary Breitbart, begins his answer by referring to the date September 30, 2011.  He notes that the White House understands that, as in the case of Anwar al-`Awlaqi, there will be no comment from the White House on this matter past noting that “any matters related to these events are classified.”  He defers further questioning, referring reporters to The Department of Justice, and Attorney General Joe Arpaio.

Breitbart then leaves the podium, barely bothering to hide his smirk.

Juan Cole:

I can only quote Clarence Darrow here, “All men have an emotion to kill; when they strongly dislike some one they involuntarily wish he was dead. I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.” Personal satisfaction apart, one is still left with the question of law raised by Paul and the ACLU.

Here’s a troubling thought: do you really think it would be a good idea to give a President Michele Bachmann or a President Rick Perry the authority to kill American citizens at will and with no due process? [emphasis added]

Being a historian, I try to understand these issues by looking at how we got where we are. As a civil libertarian, I am concerned that whatever is done be done within the law.

Glenn Greenwald: Read the rest of this entry →

What Bill Maher Is – A Muslim-Hating Bigot

2:54 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

One of the leading experts on culture, politics and religion in the Muslim world is University of Michigan Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History, Juan Cole. Prof. Cole led off an article Sunday at his blog, Informed Comment, with a scathing takedown of late night entertainer Bill Maher’s latest anti-Muslim tirade. Although Maher directly attacked Muslim men (for being bad dating material), his lies about the status of women in most Muslim countries were this slimeball’s real message.

Here’s Ryan Witt’s description of Maher’s tirade:

Maher brought up the issue of women’s rights in the Muslim world while discussing the Egyptian Revolution. Maher argued that democracy cannot work in the Middle East until a “sexual revolution” accompanies the current political revolutions. Maher received some pushback from one of his panel members, who argued that women are also not always treated fairly in America. Maher argued that this was a “false equivalency” as Muslim women are often not even allowed to vote or drive in many countries in the Middle East. In addition, many women face a huge legal burden if they want to divorce their husband, whereas men have the option of divorcing their wives simply by saying literally saying they want a divorce.

Maher went even further in describing the treatment of Arab women by saying,

“Talk to women who’ve ever dated an Arab man. The results are not good.”

At certain points in the discussion Maher actually sounded like he could fit in quite well in a Fox News panel discussing the same issue. He argued against the cultural relativist argument to defend the practices of Arab men. Maher went on to describe a gruesome beheading of one Muslim woman by her husband.

Prof. Cole’s take on Maher’s lies is this:

Dear right wing blogosphere and also Bill Maher: You can’t generalize about women’s position in Muslim countries based on a reprehensible mob attack on CBS reporter Lara Logan. Generalizing about a whole group of people based on a single incident is called “bigotry.” It is also a logical fallacy (for wingnuts challenged by six syllables in a row, that means, ‘when your brain doesn’t work right’) known as the ‘Hasty Generalization.’ Nobody seems to note that allegedly helpless Egyptian women were the ones who saved Logan, or that Anderson Cooper was also attacked.

Some other examples of reporters or celebrities being assaulted by crowds are here and here. Wingnuts, and also Bill Maher, who do not immediately make generalizations on these bases about large groups of Westerners are wusses.

Note to Muslim-hater Bill Maher, who should know better: It is not true that women cannot vote in 20 Muslim countries, and please stop generalizing about 1.5 billion Muslims based on the 22 million people in Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, the only place where women cannot drive and where men can vote (in municipal elections) but women cannot. It would be like generalizing from the Amish in Pennsylvania to all people of Christian heritage and wondering what is with Christianity and its fascination with horses and buggies. [emphases added]

Here’s the Youtube clip of the entire episode of lies on Maher’s entertainment program:

And here’s an episode of his entertainment program from last June 10th. It was Maher’s response to public reaction to the cold-blooded murder of eight Turks and an American on the high seas by uniformed Israeli thugs. Note how Rachel Maddow blandly and uncomfortably sits through the entire routine:

“Let’s not shit a shitter,” eh, Bill? Lets see if you have the balls to invite Prof. Cole onto your entertainment program.

FOX News Leads the Charge to Rid the World of “Crazy People” by Supporting a Crazy War Against Iran – THIS WEEK

5:14 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

After hosting former UN Ambassador John Bolton in an exchange devoted to the crazy notion Bolton is now touting that Israel must strike Iranian nuclear facilities within the next eight days, FOX’s Neil Cavuto asks Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, "Do you think that some people are just too crazy to respond to sanctions? By that, I mean, if you’re a nut, what the civilized world does to rein you in simply doesn’t register because you’re a nut, so what if, from Ahmenidejad on down, we’re dealing with nuts who don’t respond as you would think to what would be in their economic interests?"

Prof. Juan Cole, at Informed Comment, has published a number of essays on how crazy or nuts war with Iran would undoubtedly turn out to be. Here’s from the most blunt, published back on July 24th. I’ve slightly reformatted it:

The likely outcome of an Israeli military strike on Iran is as follows:

1). Iran will use Shiite operatives and militiamen to kill the increasingly vulnerable remaining US troops in Iraq (once there are less than 50,000 non-combat troops in that country, they are not troops, they are hostages).

2). Iran will stir up its substantial number of clients in Afghanistan to hit the United States, widening the insurgency from mainly Pashtun Taliban to include fundamentalist Tajiks and Hazaras. The US will remain mired in that war, perhaps for decades, as a result.

3). Iran will probably bide its time and act in covert and hard to trace ways against US interests in the region. There could be more operations like the Khobar Towers bombing of US troops in Saudi Arabia or the 1983 attack on a Marine barracks in Beirut. All US commercial and government offices in the region would become targets.

4). A fair likelihood exists that Hizbullah would do something to Israel in revenge, possibly provoking another Israel-Lebanon War. The last war did not go well for Israel, despite its massive military superiority. A fourth of Israelis were forced to move house, chemical gas facilities in Haifa were threatened (and the Dimona Nuclear plant that makes all those Israeli nuclear warheads could be), and Hizbullah had broken Israeli radio encryption and knew all the Israeli army plans beforehand.

5). Not only would the democratically inclined opposition movement in Iran evaporate, but Muslim fundamentalists in Egypt, Jordan and other US allies would mobilize and perhaps gain in popularity out of anti-imperial solidarity. (Only 6% of ordinary Arabs is worried about an Iranian nuclear bomb, whereas almost all are disturbed by Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians).

6). The price of oil would spike, likely to 2008 highs of $140 a barrel, throwing the world back into Depression.

7). Once such hostilities began, and given these likely responses, the US could well get sucked into a third major Middle East war, against a country geographically much bigger than either Iraq or Afghanistan, and more than twice as populous as each of them. At another $1 trillion, that cost would push the US into $14 trillion in indebtedness all by itself, and since that is American annual gross domestic product, it could trigger a downgrading of American credit, making the interest servicing on existing and future loans far more expensive and, along with crippling high oil prices, beginning America’s final spiral down into poverty and weakness.

What’s crazier – having John Bolton and Neil Cavuto help determine our foreign policy, or Prof. Juan Cole?

Unfortunately, the White House is more likely to listen to Bolton and Cavuto.